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Imagine that you magically have fantastic customer service, and great hospitality in your business.  As you read that, you probably know and feel that your staff cannot read your mind, and cannot be you. So training your staff is essential.  Training defines your customers service and your hospitality.  Trained staff can learn your method and your style.  There should be a system, and structure to it.  This shows your staff that you care, and value your role as a leader.  

Greg Conderacci lives here in Baltimore.  His talent is putting things in simple digestible morsels, that create those "AHA" moments.  This is what owners and leaders crave, and helps them set their goals and next steps.  His client list and schedule is impressive, but he will tell you, he is reminding them to go back to their goals and visions (or create them if they are out of date!).

Here is a small story.   I periodically have coffee or lunch with Greg. Just like always he tossed one of his fantastic morsels into our conversation.  "You know Martha, when it gets right down to it, there are managers and leaders.  And business owners are leaders." Well, there you have it. Like I said, a fantastic morsel.  I have been pondering that thought, and it's true.  When you try, as an owner, to have an employee sell the best of what you have; they need, and deserve training.  I am working with two owners in completely different operations:  The first one is an established owner, who has two restaurants, and several books to his name.  The second one, Kevin Harris, is a new owner of a catering company with fantastic morals and ethics.  And they both agree, training is elemental.  

At the end of a very intense stretch, Kevin Harris, who owns Wind River Catering sent me his list of lessons learned.  The first item on his list is a perfect reminder.

"Training, Training, Training - You have to have a training PROGRAM. Having someone work a shift with someone who's good doesn't count as training. You have to devote the time, resources, and food to have the cooks prepare food repeatedly to make sure it meets standards. Training, manuals, checklists, and SYSTEMS to make sure it all happens."

The lesson is very simple then:   Take time to develop your system.  You have a style, a culture, and fantastic food.  Your staff and your customers are best served when you teach your staff with manuals, tests and checklists and engaging trainings.  

There is an incredible amount of detail that underlies this message.  How you approach and create  trainings, manuals, checklists, and tests is purely up to you.  But, without the vision and desire to be a leader you are not driven to complete the task.  

Greg Conderassi gave me this book title to read, Building the Bridge as You Walk on it.  I hope it helps you galvanize the energy to lead your staff.  It will serve you, and the staff...and your guests, well. 



These photos represent the realities of all owners of food-based businesses:  stick with it, each and every day.  Leading your staff allows them to carry out your dream.